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Hike – Above Fleurier and to the Source de l’Areuse

    Another of the Jura reds knocked off the list. My goal had been to hit them all this year – that isn’t going to happen. I would say I am getting there slowly but surely, but they have added more since I made the list in the first place….

    This was a decent enough if not exactly remarkable route. I wouldn’t have done a hike here if it wasn’t for the red (but I have been meaning to hit the area squeezed up to the French border with a bike). Still it is good to see a little corner of Switzerland that very few people are likely to visit.

    Key Information

    Route: Fleurier – Grands Pres – les Parcs – Le Haut de la Tour – Source de l’Areuse – St-Sulpice – Fleurier.

    Length: 12.7 km, +/- 440m

    Date: 2022-October-16


    Practical Information

    Season: Spring – Autumn. Most of this would be doable year round (possibly with snow shows in winter) but the red section climbing out of Fluerier wouldn’t be advisable in snowy conditions.

    Arrival/Departure: Train to and from Fluerier.

    Supplies: Fluerier has various shops and restaurants. There isn’t much along the route other than a few farmhouses.

    Alternate routes/shortcuts: A more interesting route would be to carry on to the Lac des Taillerres and La Brévine. I did this almost 3 years ago in fog and snow, so it was nice to see what the area actually looks like.

    Exposure/Hazards: There are a few points on the ascent at the start where the path is a bit steep and narrow, but otherwise it is very smooth and safe paths.

    It was VERY quiet. I passed one hiker and a few cyclists, otherwise I was totally alone.


    Notes along the route

    A glorious sunny autumn day: bright sunshine, colourful trees, and clear views. Very different to when I was up here last November in freezing fog.

    The train up the valley from Neuchatel was rammed with hikers. All of whom got off at Noiraigue to presumably go down the Areuse gorge or up to the Creux du Van.

    Fleurier is the bustling hub of the Val Travers, which is to say it has a supermarket and a few restaurants. This was my first real look at the place, I can’t say I have missed much. Jura villages tend to be somewhat more harsh and serious looking than the wooden chalets of the overland.

    Past a few houses out of the village and then up up up on the red section. This was mostly a fairly typical forested path for the Jura. The traverse section is rather narrow at times and on a steep hillside so that probably earns it a red.

    Climbing up through the forest.
    The path got a bit narrow at times.
    Looking down the Val Travers.
    Looking across to the Chapeau de Napoleon.

    At the top of the climb the signs for the path switch to footpath rather than mountain path which makes more sense, half of the distance marked as red on the map is actually gentle paved road.

    After the climb it was a very slow downhill across the Plateau looping around via Les Parcs. Easy walking past farms and forest in a fairly typical Jura landscape.

    Typical high Jura plateau.
    Typical high Jura plateau.

    Joined the main road at Le Haut de la Tour for brief section of somewhat terrible footpath on the road (painted lines like a lazy bike lane) and then down a much quieter service road in the forest.

    Stopped for a look at the Source de l’Areuse. Thanks to the limestone rock of the Jura water tends to go down as much as along, so here it just pops out of the cliffside.You can climb over some rocks to see the water seeping out of the rockface. It has held up by a weir creating a Blausee like lake.

    Source de l’Areuse
    Source de l’Areuse.
    Source de l’Areuse
    Source de l’Areuse.

    St-Sulpice is a quiet little village that felt detached from the world sitting in an isolated bit of valley. Pleasant enough, but not very memorable.

    I could have detoured up to the Chapeau de Napoleon, a lookout and restaurant above Fleurier.

    St-Sulpice.

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